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First Published: Rangoon, 1925 AES Reprint: New Delhi, 1993 ISBN: 81-206-0866-6

Published by J Jetley for ASIAN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES C-2/15, SDA New Delhi-110 016 Processed by Gaurav Jetley for APEX PUBLICATION SERVICES New Delhi-110 016

Printed at Nice Printing Press

Dethi-1 10 092





Notes on the Car-Nicobarese Language. A.—INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.*

The Nicobarese speak one language, whose affinities are with the Indo-Chinese languages, as represented now-a-days by the Mon-Khmer languages of Pegu and Cambodia, amongst civilized peoples ; and by a number of uncivilized tribes in the Malay Peninsula and in Indo-China, as by the Palaungs and Was of Burma, and also by the Khasis of Assam and the Mundas of Central India. end

The language is spoken by some 8,000 to 10,000 people, in six dialects, which have now become so differentiated in details as to be mutually unintelligible; and to be practically, as far as actual collo- quial speech is concerned, six different languages. Hindustani, or Itng- lish, is sometimes the medium through which the natives of the different islands communicate with each other; though many of the people of Chowra speak Car-Nicobarese quite fluently; and similarly in other cases.

The Nicobarese dialects may be grouped as follows:—I. Car-Nico- bar (pop., 5200, Census Report of 1911); 11. Chowra (pop., 348); II]. Teressa (and Bompoka) (pop., 656); IV. Central (including Camorta, Nankauri, Trinkat, and Katchall (pop., 1165); V. Southern (including Great and Little Nicobar, Pulo Milo, and Kondull (pop., 272); IV. Shompen (in the interior of Great Nicobar) (pop. 375).

It is also to be noted that there is a not inconsiderable difference in the vocabulary of the villages even of Car-Nicobar, though every adult would also know the words of any other local dialect than his own.

The Nicobarese language is slurred and indistinct; the latter part of a mame, or other word, is often dropped or contracted ;—but there is no abnormal dependence on tone, accent, or gesture, to make the meaning clear. In the Burmese sense of the word I have not detected the presence of any tones whatsoever in the Car-Nicobarese language. As in Hindus- tani and I‘nglish, a question, however, is sometimes marked only by the raising of the voice.

These dialects are, as might be expected, rich in specialised words for actions and concrete ideas: but very poor in generic terms, and in some other respects. Thus there are at least seven different words to denote the cocoa-nut”’ in different stages of its development; again there are sundry ways of counting, varying somewhat perhaps with the things counted. The abstract action is expressed familiarly enough ; gerunds and gerundives are much more used by the Car-Nicobarese than by the average Englishman ;—it is in the realm of ideas’ that the language is so poor, δ. g. in the names of colours, of virtues and vices.

Ee . *Ia this chapter there are considerable quotations made b issi i e y permission from 5 ; Carnac Temple, Census Report” of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 190}. ὙΦ


There is no word in the language equivalent to man (ta-rik is properly a native of Car-Nicobar), island, town, city, or even village; animal (for which che-he-chon, bird, or té-reit-la creeping thing, is used). insect, flower, honourable, virtuous, shy and reserved (except si-rong-kuo, to be ashamed), sulky (except lin, to’ be angry), thank ful, stream or weil (except mak, water), age, manners, character, field, farmer, government, rent, rates, taxes, crime, prison, freedom, liberty, occupation, condemn, acquit, argue, persuade, punish (except of mild inflictions, as by a parent, chok-ren), pay, owe, starve, offer, propose. ercuse, use, abuse, despair, seem, need, meddle, moan, praise, become, have, be, dare, do, decide, advise, determine, necessary, miserable and the list could be indefinitely extended. That many of the terms which refer to religion, or to civilised life, should be missing is only to he expected, and also that they should have no names for the days of the week, or for the months of the year; but it is strange that they have no word for village, (or parish), a very distinct entity in their life, or for island, or for their own island (though every house, locality, &c. has its proper name; and they are aware that the people of Chowra call their island, Pu). That they have no name for flower, and that their names tor colours are so few and indefinite, and that 160k (to be qood), a-ka- ha (to be wise), ko-lo (to be rich, valuable), with their negatives have to do duty for practically all the words expressive of virtue and vice (apart from specific actions },—these things are signs as to their outlook on life. That they have no good word wherebv to express a ruler (ot any grade), is natural from their prinutive method of lite and society; whilst the cumbrous paraphrase for one’s enenites, (yip to-ku-nya-hati-el mat to-re). seems to testify to the peaceful character of the people.

Nicobarese is a highly developed analvtical language. It bears every sign of a verv long continuous growth, both of syntax and ety- mology; and it 1s clearly the out-come of a strong intelligence constantly applied to its development. The growth of the language has been so complicated, and so many principles of speech have been partially adopted in building it up, that nothing is readily discoverable about it. The subject and predicate are not at once perceptible to the grammarian, nor are the principal and subordinate sentences. The sentences, too, cannot at once be analysed correctly. nor can the roots of the words without great care, or rather much study, be separated from the over- growth. Neither syntax nor etymology is easy, and correct speech 1s far from being easily attained. There is nothing in the form of the words to shew certainly their class, whether nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so forth. Prepositions and conjunctions (and the line of de- mareation between these is difficult, if not impossible, to define), ad- verbs. and the particles of speech, (but not auxiliaries), are freely used; and so are elliptical sentences.


The Nicobarese, like all other peoples, can express a complete mean- ing, or sentence, by a single word; e. g. ho-o, or r0-6, ( ΤΟΣ ca ss uh, foh! don't); ngai-cho, (“that’s enough ); yOo-vo, ( es know”), tal-uh or ngé-sin, (“‘ wait a bit”); kek-eng-re, Mae το ὐὰθ i ra-ngo-re, (“stop crying, or talking ”.)—In Nicobarese almost any kind of word many be used as an integer, that is as a word which ex- presses a complete thought; just as in English we occasionally τὸ θα just so! so so! now then! hands off! no news? no hope! no rier done again!—The Nicobarese regularly and systematically speak in this way. lélliptical sentences are so much used, that the Aryan mind on first becoming acquainted with the Car-Nicobarese dialect thinks most of the sentences elliptical, e.g. foich-la! 6k mu-u-lai-vo, ah! the thief, (uttered when first something is found to be stolen). Ot ko chin ngaich, “Tl cannot manage it.” Yong yong ta-rik! “what a big man. he is! ‘‘ Si-ti G-nguh?” what is the matter with this?”

Compound words, and phrases consisting of two or more words just thrown together, and used as one word, are unusually common: and the Janguage shows its Far-Eastern proclivities by an extended use of numeral coefficients——though this use is not so extensive, or so compulsory as in Burmese; whilst on the other hand they are used in sundry cases where the Burmese idiom does not require them.

Temple ‘hinks that the great difficulty of the language lies in its

etymology; to my mind, the etymology though very complex, seems comparatively plain sailing, and is quite rational; whilst the syntax is a terrible puzzle, as these rules will illustrate;—‘Pronouns in apposi- tion are not often in the same case.’ The subject of a finite verb is often not in the nominative case, whilst the subject of what may be called the verb infinite often is’. Verbs are not essential to sentences.’ In compound sentences a change from active to passive in the form of the principal verbs, with a consequent change of the subject, is frequently desirable.’ Often one cannot understand how the words before one, can pos- stbly form a complete sentence: and frequently the order of the words In a sentence seems to defy common sense, as also does the ‘c of pronouns, (the only words which have case).

__ Words are built up of roots and stems, to which are added prefixes, infixes and suffixes. The force of prefixes, infixes, and suffixes, is to emphasise some aspect of an action or thing, e.g. the doer, the object the action itself, the result—its favourableness or otherwise, its rellexive

character; or as going up or down, in or out or away; or its relation to some one as a possession,

Also there is modification (in very many c special use of the word, and this although a seco that Same special use, δ. g. for whilst this was rong-mong, reng-hdich-ren, rong-héicltro: for


ases) to mark the nd word may mark going on”, réng-mo, “quietly and taking


care’, ré-m0-roon, ré-m6-r6, ré-m6-ti; for quickly ”, ka-etti-yO (or ka-ett-yen), ka-eui-ngen, ka-eui-r66n, ka-eui-l6-kiio ; for “to know”, a-ka-ha-lon, a-ka-ha-kuo, a-ka-ha-el-nang; for “a little”, ra-héch-ta- ren, ra-hech-tit-ren, ra-héch-hdiny-ti, ra-héch-hang-kiid ”; for to go on (γί μετ} i-ru-ho-r66n, i-ru-ho-r6, i-ru-hé-mat. But i-ru-ho-ro6n, should apply tu walking only, ro6n meanong foot, and to walk; but it is also used whes other modes of travelling are mentioned ;—this is only to be expected, through natural decay in the force of a word. But why lok-to-kui means “the starting point,” and not one’s objective ”, I utterly fail to see. A confusion of expression between cause and conse- quence in sonie cases; and in one form of frequent occurrence (with the affix o, following a lengthened vowel), the use of the same form

for active and passive; these are difficulties which one need not be astonished about.

Again what we should regard as verbal nouns, are frequently used as finite verbs, eag., ma-chi-lo hi yin (“ deceivers of us they ’’,)=ha- chi-lo in to cha, “they deceived us,’ more literally, we were deceived by them. Apparently the agent form of a verb is used where attention is specially drawn to the agent: as the passive is used when the atten- tion is mainly drawn to the action itself, c.g., ka-po in to mi-so-ko, literally “we are being bitten by mosquitoes.”) Similarly “the object” form of the verb is often used when the attention is especially drawn to the object, e. g., va-hi-il On ngth, lit. something made by him, this.”

ΓΛ. B.—It seems contrary to the idiom of the language to regard the copula as understood. There is no copula in Nicobarese; the verbal noun is what in other languages would be a finite verb. |

In Car-Nicobarese, the derivation of words must receive great at- tention; prefixes, infixes, and suffixes are all used most freely,—and in most cases on clearly intelligible principles, even in the wide range of verbal suffixes, which at first sight seem to the Englishman to be far more copious than helpful. Thus from the root v1, " to work in (wood &c.) to make something,” we get the verbs Viel, vi-il, vi-lo, vi-len, vi- ngé-re, vi-ing-re, vi-to, V1-ten, vi-tu, vi-tit-vo, vi-lo-ngo, vi-i-ren, vi-to-re, vi-l5-re; and the nouns va-mi-inl, the maker; va-hi-il, “the thing made” vi-ni-il, “the making,” va-ni-i pa-ti, “the display of cloth, spoons, &c., in a house,” va-ni-il-kui, devil-scarer,” and many other words. Or again from the stem ko-la, to be worthy, in good condition. (which again is derived from the root ko, to. be able), we get to-ko- lo, worthy, good; " ha-ko-lo, “to enrich, bless; ”’ in-ko-lo, enrich- ment, blessing’; ka-no-lo, “wealth, glory’ ; ma-ha-k6-lo, “‘one who enriches, blesses”; ha-k6-léng-rd, “to be blessed"; and the negatives ὃε Κό-Ἰὸ, “to be unworthy, mean”; t6t-k6-l6, “unworthy, mean”; Ot- ha-k6-lo, “to punish, curse,” and many other forms. Unfortunately verbal nouns can again be used as finite verbs, adjectives as verbs


(notably in such simple sentences as to-look on ngoh ta-rik, Βροᾷ this man ", though the adjective 10 -ἸΟῸ Κ is derived from the verb SOK; to be good). Indeed, as will be seen, the classification of words as nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, &c., seems utterly foreign to the idiom of the Car-Nicobarese language. The names however must be partially retained, for lack of more accurate terms. . .

The same word may be a verb, noun, preposition, or conjunction , €. g. lok-tém to come (issue) down towards; the cause or the means (of something issuing down towards) ; through; therefore. Hol chu is equally with me”, or “my companion.” Lon=" to think ; to wish: a thought, wish, disposition.” Re-hen,=caze, and to tie (with cane, or any thing produced in the island) ; ok“ the liquid of the green cocoa- rut’; to drink (the same, or anything, else excepting intoxicants, when ka-eut is used).

Verbs, as Aryans understand the term, do not necessarily form part of a sentence. There are no words at all in the Car-Nicobarese language equivalent to to have and to be whether as auxiliary or as notional verbs; and this is to some extent true of the verb to do also, though ngaich and he are frequently used where we use the auxiliary to have, and an-hanv (or an-hav-in) or i-nu (from in) are in some cases used for the notional verb to have, i.e. to possess. Possession is however generally marked by what might be called the possessed case of the noun) ending in u or v, vo, u-vG) e.g. Ot ta-6-ku chin, I have no cocoanut-trees; (ta-6-k6, cocoanut tree.)

Min which marks the future (==shall, will) and which marks completion, the perfect or pluperfect tense (though not very common- ly used), seem to be the only true auxiliaries; though ngaich, sin, ti, hdk, sok, uh, hon, ko, kO-6-ren, G-re, in some of their uses, will often be ex- pressed in English by auxiliaries or quasi-auxiliaries. Adverbs of time, or adverbial clauses, partly relieve the difficulty with regard to tense.

The Nicobarese are very fond of particles which to some extent express the mind of the speaker about some action, like gi gon oor in Burmese ), e.g. uh, yek, hon, po-cho (and pdm-ché, &c.), pd-keh (and po-yin-keh, &c.), nyin, sin, tal, lang, la-hék, kam-[yih], kdl;— and especially the afx ngen (literally away from,) which is used when the result is an undesirable one; δ. g. lok-ngen, on account of, through; (as compared with lék-len, used when the results are not undesirable. )

Again affixes are attached by mere agglutination, or in forms which have undergone phonic change. Their presence, too, not infrequently causes phonic change in, and inflexion of the roots or stems themsel- ves; €.g. nya-anv-kiio, to eat, from nya-an-[kt-6] food, enpecially yams, (from nya, to eat) ; τὸ-ὁν, or τὸ-ὁ-νῷ, to say; τὸ, a word, sound. Pi-h6-v6, to be married, from pi-hd, husband or wife. Chéd-ngu-[vd} to receive a command, to have power; choo-ngo, power, commandment.

“Kidl-tu-vs, to be chopped down; (kadl-to, to chop down). Kum-lék-éy


to be strong, {rom kum-lék, strength; (from ka-lék). All these illus- trate the same affix. Again mi-kah, knowledge; min-kah-ten, preaching, teaching; tot-an-ka-hen, incomprehensible; in-ka-ha, the finding out; a-ka-ha, to be wise; a-kah-ngen-re to acknowledge; a ka-hai-ren, to be conscious of all come from the root a-kah to discriminate. Kum, a burden; ka-meun, a carrier; ka-neun, a yoke; tot-ka-nei-nen, an intoler- able burden; ki-net-no, the carrying,—are all derived from keun, to carry. lKu-pah, @ corpse, kui-ku-pah a dead man’s skull, a cemetery ; t6- ka-pa-ha, one who has some one dead ‘belonging to him; kin-pa-ha, death,—are all derived from ka-pah, to be dead. Hi-nol-ren, help and ha-mol-ren, /elper from hol-ren, to help (from hol, wtth; comrade).

Thus it is only by deep & prolonged study of the language, that one can learn to recognize a root, or to perceive the sense and use of an affix; and only by a prolonged practice could one hope to speak or understand it correctly in all its phases. Nicobarese is, in this sense, indeed a difficult language.

If there is a normal order of the words in a sentence, it is perhaps —predicate, object of action, subject of action. The object of a transitive verb is often pronounced so closely after the verb, as to seem like one word with it; ho-vOng-ken cha a-nga-an, he governed them.

Here one may note the strange idiom of using the nominative form an, he: she; it, though with a peculiar intonation or sound), compounded with the transitive verb in that peculiar form which is either active or passive see p.iv), to denote its object, e.g. fé-lanfé-l6o ὁ, Rill him; (whilst fél 6==his dah and fél an, he is beating (killing), (or, ἐξ 1s a dal) ; ngé-nan, take him along with you; so meii-kan, cho-han, ma-ha-too-nan (a transitive noun form), &c., ἃς.

Primarily there is nothing in the external form, which neces- arily denotes the function or functions of a word in a sentence, and there- fore its class, or its inherent qualities, i.e. its nature. Nor is there primarily anything in the external form to shew that a word has been transferred from one class to another. Thus the class of a word 18 known by its form and its position; and its transfer from one class to another is shewn by its position. Yet I suppose that to the Nico- barese mind there has been no such transfer at all; though they might perceive that the use of the words varies somewhat.

As we have said, there is no strict discrimination between the different parts of speech,—which indeed can hardiy be said to exist in Car-Nicobarese, though for convenience sake we retain the terms. Kumrah=rain (noun) and to rain (verb) Hon—to wish; to be about to begin to (verb), and in order that (conjunction). Hé, the time (noun), and the adverb when.

Prepositions may have adverbs as their objects; δ. g. el-hih—=in here (cf. especially the old English forms heren, hereby, whereby, wherefore, ἃς.)


Verbal nouns are transitive or intransitive, like the stem verb; and so can take an object; and verbal nouns expressing the action, or the result of the action, can also have their subject,—generally in the oblique, but sometimes in the nominative case; 6. g. ma-ha-k6p-ten-ih. our teacher, (the ih is an accusative, rather than a genitive ;—/e zhto teaches us. Ik cha-nu-hu chu, on my departure; é-hé to yi-hih 6m? peuhet to yi-hih chin; when did you come? 1 came this morning. To- kuon-no On ngih pa-ti πὸ ma-heunk chu, this is the smallest house I haze ever seen. Verbal nouns may have the auxiliary min qualifying them.

The same affix e. g. the reflexive re, one’s own; u or v marking the thing possessed; &c., may be joined on alike to nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech; e. g. ik hé-re in its season; i pa-ti-re, in his own house; no in-re, among themselves; t6-re to himself, or that he; ha-yaich-nyo- re, humbly ; kék-éng-re, to get out of the way, l6-nu-vi, to be desirous: lon, wish, will, thought, to think; yoo-ngu, to have a parent, (yong) : kék-tu-v6, to be given, kék-t6 to give, ha-meuk-tu-v6, to be shewn, ha- meuk-to, to shew, ta-hé-ngu, or ta-hé-ngoé-re-vé, to have another, ta- heng; or in-ré-ru-v6 (from in-ré, also); i-nu, to have a thing as a possession, in, with, at. N.B—The enclitic-vé, or u often lengthens a short penultimate, or ante-penultimate.

The syntax in Car-Nicobarese is very strange to Europeans ;—the order of the words, e. g. yong: chu ki-k6-ny6, my father, lit. parent of me, male; the question as to whether an active or passive form, or the stem or a derivative verb, is to be used; and the insertion of particles,—are great causes of perplexity to the beginner.

For the sake of emphasis, or tor other reasons, the order of the words in a sentence is frequently changed. Sometimes simply the order of the words is changed; but far more frequently the substitution of a synonym (pronominal or otherwise) is the cause of further changes; e. g., Ngaich ok πὸ ha-e-hang-rit, or Ha-e-hang-rit 6k πὸ ngaich, he has gone already. k-t6 e chin min in meh, or k-€-kii6 meh chin min to e, J will give it to you. k-8-kid t6 6, or k-t6 in ὁ, give 1t to him; ot a-ka-ha-l6n chin, or R6-6chin a-ka-ha-lon, J do not know. I-yong i-hih chin, or Chu-6 chin i-hih, J live here. Ai-yi-6 in kum- roon-ngo-re, or kum-roon-ngo-re in ai-yi-d, eve are going; lit. we people travelling.

Words are often arranged in what at first sight seems to Europeans, to be an utterly wrong and illogical order, and prepositions often seem to govern the wrong noun or pronoun ; e. g., meuk-kiiG to-héng ta- ka chin, ta-rik el ta-l60-k6, J saw a man on the road; or Héng tak ma- heunk-kiio chin ta-rik el ta-l66-k6 (one person, something seen, ] man, on the road). A-ré-8] ye to-ko-en An, ᾿ a pent those who truly repent, (lit., pardon, those, true, He, who iMilage kes log ae aie s aoe i nga-mo-an chon, the

{ : ; +, on that side, the wulage, that tree),

ra-ma-ang to-kool-re,


A-nga-an an lok-ten τὸ ta-hin-ngen chu, I sent word through him, lit., he, the means whereby, word, something sent away, me. Perhaps the construction here is, He ts the one through whom the word which was my sending issued.

The prepositions are a feeble folk; and unless the principal verb sufficiently defines the sense, they are often tacked on to a subordinate verbal form, (like ra-ang, to leave; lék-ten, to issue down towards ;) to give them a distinctive meaning; and frequently these verbal forms are themselves used with the force of prepositions, without any ac- companying preposition; ὁ. g., lok-ten [in] 6, because of, or through, Mim. Yih-t6-re in chu, come to me. Ha-veb-a in 0, ask him for it. Hok-ngen e in meh, keep if by you. An-ten ih i nup ka-nih-ngen, keep us from all dangers.

Prepositions may take the reflexive affix, and govern that, δ. g. 1n- re, among theiuselves, to himself, etc.; to-re, to himself; that he. They may also take the “possessed” form; e.g., -nu an to ap, he owns a cailoe; ho-lu ap to pi-ho-re lie had his wife with him.

In Nicobarese, there are frequent changes of construction in com- pound sentences, which seem to the foreigner to be worse than useless, as from the active to the passive voice (or vice versa), or from the simple verb to the substantive verbal forms. Logically enough an intransitive (or passive) form of the verb is used in such sentences as J have lost the key, (chat-ngen Ok cha-pi chu, my key is lost. Chat-ngen 6k cha- pi to-ti chu. the key was lost by mec, would not mean J lost the key, but that the losing of the key was my doing. There is a special passive ‘(quite different from the regular passive form of the active verb) which is much used in such cases; 6. 4. la-koo-lo, la-reuk, to be broken (of actions done unintentionally, or where no agent at all is in one’s mind) ; pa-lai-ren, to be damaged; fa-lal, to be out of order; pa-sa-va, to be entangled, pa-ra-ta, to be scattercd about. Pa-la-ai-ren ap 0, /iis boat ts damaged, (presumably=/ic has damaged his boat). The usual active (or usual passive in many cases) would imply that the loss or damage was done wilfully. (So in Burmese would ego or goo)

The stages of the Cocoa-nut are (1) ku-mon, the very small un- formed fruit; (2) i-rat ka-fut t. ec. half kernel (3) hu-kel what can be scooped out, kél; (4) ta-ndich-nyi ἢ. 6. that can be husked; (5) ka- fut si-rat (half-way between ku-mon and kuk), (6) chil (7. e. middle) (7) to-nyOd (i.e. dry; ny); (8) to-sah (dark-coloured; sah), (9) to- meuiny, or mi-sid-po (1. e. the sprouting nut; 5100, meuiny). 2, 3, and 4 are Ok, as drunk; 3, 4, and 5 are ka-fut, as eaten; 6, 7, 8, and 9, are kuk, the nut of commerce. Ku-fét is the peculiar nut, the butter nut, liked as food but not convertible into kuk. Ta-hay is the nut which has sprouted and become dried of liquid, the swollen generating flesh

filling the shell.


B.—ORTHOGRAPHY. The vowels are a, 4; ὅ, ὃ: 6, δ: 1, 1; 0, 0; 0, O; O, OO; U, U.

Pesides which there are the pure diphthong, eu, ei; and triphthong eui, evii,—which are new sounds.

There are also the less pure combination :—ai, ai; €i, δὲ, el, δι; €0; τὸ; οἱ, Oi; Oi, Oi; Gi, GOI; αἱ, Ti; ud, 16, GOI; and the less common—éa, éai, €a, ia, Oi, Oa, Oai, iia, ua; which are chiefly found in a few contracted words.

Thus the range of vowels in Nicobarese is very wide, and some of these sounds are not only difficult to pronounce, but also very difficult to discriminate by the ordinary English ear. In some cases I have had to accept the ipse dixit of my munshi, as to the identity or dis- tinction of certain vowel sounds.

To make matters worse, long vowels are rarely, if ever, pure (as they are in Burmese) ; and certain final consonants, especially ch and ny, oiten modify the preceding vowel; and even when ch, ny, and y begin the next syllable, the preceding vowel may be modified. This modi- fication means that the i sound is imported, generally without creating a true ai, al, 1, δ΄, e1, δ. πὶ, 1, οἱ, Οἱ, Οἱ, OOi eti, eui as the case may be. 1 have in the revised Spelling Book (ot 1918) retained the forms ai, 8], ol, ΟἹ, OO1, ui, Ti before ch, ny, and y; but not the forms ei, éi, in such cases, as the e sound is often thus modified before other consonants also.

This is very illogical; but it seemed the best practical solution. My munshi was in favour of dropping the i in some cases where it is still retained; ¢. g. in ngaich, tich-ng6d-re, chdich.

The various sounds are as follows :-—

a, as in fallacy, mat; e.g. ka-ha, mah-mat, ha-an-hanl. ἃ, the same sound lengthened out, as in father (sam) ὁ. g. ma, am, fap. Note the dis- syllabic a-a, as in cha-a, la-al, εἴς. ; also a-a, as in ta-a.

nga cha-a a-pa ya-ha a-ka-ha

nya la-a ka-ha ta-ka ha-va-ha

cha ta-a sa-ha ma-na ina-a-la-ha

ap chap ka-lah va-hav ha-at-nyo

am nyat ta-vat an-tu a-nav-ngo-re an mah ha-rap pav-ka ha-rah-nang an ial pa-nam a-nga-an mMa-na-an

pak tal a-ngah mak-mat nya-nang-ngé sat kay ra-ang a-Sa-hah t6-ta-fah-kind nap ngam fat-lo a-fah-lo tam-keti-no,


sa ma

mal nganv u-hav pa-chal

sa-ma ma-ma

ka-ran an-tu ki-sat ta-yam

ta-a ka-pa

ma-an ma-ham ra-mal li-tak

nya-ma ra-ha-ta.

tan-lo-re ka-tan-tu ta-rak-lo ha-rap-ngo.

This short vowel does not seem to be used in English, except as a hurried form of the long vowel ὃ, (as some times in the expressions there, there! yea, yea!) (esau) e.g. pé-hé, kék--ti, héng. N. B.—

is the only vowel where the short mark is used.

It might

have been more logical to have written e here, and where I have written e (that is, as the shorter form of δ); but the comparative ratity of the first and the frequency of the second vowel sound decided me against this, (for the printer's sake).

é, as in there (4 or esa); 6. g. ye, péch, pa-lét, sény.

N. B.—é before f,

tends to be corrupted to éa; before ch, καὶ ny, ng, to become 41.


héeng reh

yen hek yek hék

e, as in hen, egg, get; 6. g., e-he, meh-en, fa-len.

re-hén kek-év ve rev lev Τὸν set


‘ka-teh é-he réy-re véch tu-hét pech ta-tet seny ku-hét chev


kék-hét la-ta-vé ra-hek ku-vek to-rém pa-let

ny, e tends towards the sound ei, e.g. li-reny, yech. ) the same sound lengthened out; (sacdn) the French é; e¢. g. πιῶ, kel, lev. (N. B.—Before 1, ἢ, ἢ, p, v, ἢ» this vowel tends to become ée or ea, but is not so written; and similarly to become éi before ch, k, k, m, ng, ny.)

e e-he ne-a


het en

yen keh teh peh

a-ne sa-re ve-a,

yech la-en le-en re-hen ve-ev ve-eng ve-eny



fe-he-re sa-le-a




mi-ne-eny va-me-eng ki-nek-en ka-nek-en ka-ne-hen

ha-té-he-re ka-ve-é-re ke-he

éh-ten che-hen meh-eri an-hen a-ngeh en-a-viO el-vang


ha-réh-to ma-hé-ra. kek-to-re rél-ha-nga

rép-tam kin-léng-lo.

(N. B.—-Before ch or

ka-pa-ha-re a-ne-he ha-re-he.

neh-ngen-re si-keh-ngo i-ru-hen ha-ve-e-ren ko-0-ren vi-ne-ev-kiio che-hey-ren.


él fén vet nyen lév ngeék mem

i as inin, pin, little, chip (cron) ; δ. g. Si-ti, chip, pi-gik.



ta-hel kal-él to-kén ten-no pa-hék hem-ti ka-hem

ta-le nge<ha sep-nyo


mi-reéch ngech-ken mech-ngo nyek-ngo yek-ngen


ra-héch-yen .to-meng-el ha-méng-nyo to-lel-ngo-kiio ha-ret-nyo-el-mat ka-hek-to-re mi-yéek-ro.

i as in machine,

Or as 16 in fiend, or ee in thee (chi) ¢.g. mi-si, pi-hd, lin. (This is more pure than most of the long vowels. )

si-ti nga-ti ré-ti mi-ne ti-Sa-a chi-ni va-ngi mi-lék mi lek ta-vi-1

mi-1 fé-li cha-pi hi-la ra-a-ti.

ip ngih kin-vin mi-yich liv-ngo-re ik ma-in pi-sik sik-nyo to-ku-liv yik su-pil ti-lin ha-riv ku-nyi-iny-re yit a-lip fas-tit hu-ring ha-ri-ing-re in i-hih ku-chik 1Π- ΤΟΙ min-li-l6 min mi-ip i-nyih in-no-lo pin-rii-y6 ing ha-ik yi-hiv va-mi-inl vi-tit-vo.

hi vi hi-ri ti-ni li-la la-hi-a ti a-ki mi-si yi-ki va-mi pa-ti-re. lin nyik rik-re ha-lip-ngo tin-ha-nga kiny ti-rip ta-nin pit-nyo-re to-la-min.

Ὁ, as in opinion, indolent; (Burmese Sul) 6. g. po-po, fo-hoh lo-ong-ti (This short vowel, when closed, will probably present a slight difficulty to the beginner) ; 6, only somewhat as in lo, potion; a much purer sound, more like the Burmese ει e. g. a-fo, pop, chon, ki-kd-ny6, (N. B.—Care nust be taken over the sound of this vowel to get it pure; and even

vhen, as often, it is impure, it is pronounced rather in the English rovincial, 60, da, than in the classic Stvle. )

0-po u-ro-ho, ψ “βὰν hok-o ra-foh to-hok-oy Oo 1-SO sok-o ka-long lo-ong-kiié ' g-kiio ong 1-hong oh-ti toh-hé ha-choh-ken.



pop tot lot




chok vok




a-sol sin-rol sai-yOk



ot-ngo-re rol-ha-ka ra-mo-l6n



el-in-ch6n si-lot-ngo tom-lo-kui


ὃ, as In on, Pot; (esaq) } ¢. g. po, u-rd-hod, Ok, si-kOng; 6, the same sound lengthened out, as ave in raw, awful; (6595) δ. g. τὸ, ngd-k6, cha-ndé-ché,


ok hok tok chok choh




nyot hon



on hon hon mong rong




ngong von-lo



rO-OV po-Ov kok-ol ku-roh ku-rok




ku-rot ta-hol











rok-tak kdk-lo




ta-neili-yong ta-fuo-long mi-lo-hoh ko-ong-lon ka-no-On-vo




mok-l6-ktio ta-nom-kui


ὃ. as in the German kéniy; or as a in canonical; ¢. 4.» 0-0, la-d-ld, roh- (This short vowel I frequently used to write as a, though aware of the distinction of the sound; even as 99 in Burmese repre- sents both sounds, ¢.g., οο the name and the negative verb, 0 seems like the primitive vowel sound, to which other vowels come \vhen shortened to the irreducible minimum).


dd is the Jenethened form of the same vowel; y. ho (N. B—Do not confuse 60, with the disyllabie 0-0.)

c.g. hbd, ron, tO-kOOl.



to po-ri po-to mi-s0-kO t0-k0-0-10 | ko to-ti mo-ko mi-s0-ko ku-lo-o-vo no si-O ndo-mo r0-0-vO a-la-ha-vo cho si-no hé-ngo r0-0-tO k6-ma-ye-€ ngo na-ro ra-nyO la-6-lo mi-nga-ko r0-O ve-lo yeé-so ta-pa-ko chi-no-ho ho-o ka-po yé-cho ré-mO0-ro ki-ko-nyo- i-ho v0-ko fo-ngo mi-si-to mi-né-nyo yi-O neé-to a-ré-lo ki-ka-no Sa-ne-nyo. ok Ok-voh ras-hot mot-lo to-ki-ni-on tok fo-hoh ros-hot tin-ngop 1o-hol-ti tom oh-to roh-to koh-ngen ha-roh-tor mol rO-GV roh-ta yong-ren héng-hot-ti. [00 too-ko ta-f00-ro ka-yoo-ya

100 nOO-po ha-loo-ki mi-choo-mo yoo ngoo-ngo ta-l00-ko ha-ny0o-to ta-00 pi-loo-no ha-voo-ngo ya-noo-tu-vo. roon ki-loop mook-hen ma-chook-lo, to-k6ol li-koop to-took-lo ki-roon-ngo to-look ngoon-ka room-ngen rooch-ha-ka.

There is also a modification of both 6, and 66; but personally I have

failed to perceive the distinction in sound.

lowing words :—

It is found in the fol-

ol lon-lo ha-rok tol-ngo. ti-kok-r6-re

vot Op-nyo li-kol fot-ny6 hong-ko-kai6

lok ka-tol ha-ton tom-rit fom-ngo-re

rok ta-Oong in-lok lot-ngo hok-to-re

sol ta-ok ha-kov ka-vot ha-chong-ten. ho6-kan in-t00-nd to-ku-r66-po.

too-lo f60-t6 hoo-ng6-re ha-k06-v6

rO0-po choo-ngo la-ko0-l6 ha-to0-no

00-lu poo-ko-re ka-yoo-ngo kin-t66-l6,

“, only somewhat as in hum, nun, pull; more like the Burmese σῷ e. g., chu, chuh, hum-lum,

ii, the same vowel lengthened, as oo in pool, or in whom: €.g., Pa in-ktip, ntii-mu. | ' ,



chu ho-lu ku-v6-ko i-ru-ho-ro chu-o ve-nyu ku-na-ngu ru-u-ti

u-ha ku-mon pi-to-tu la-tu-nyi u-hoo a-nu-O to-hé-ru cha-hu-u-yo la-lu a-ngu-o ki-lu-hu to-ka-cha-vu. un ha-uk tai-yuk tum-lat rung-mat um ka-hul suk-to sum-kam u-ung-l6on kum in-yul mi-nuh hum-lum kung-ku-ru nun sa-lut fi-rung ha-ru-ul sul-ngo-re nup u-muh li-kup in-rung kin-rum-re kuk o-nguh lu-hul kum-rah chum-nge-to. Pu a-kti-o ka-chi-vo mi-lu-ko Pi-ki ta-ft-yu ki-na-cho ha-yu-to pu-hu to-tu-mu a-nt-cho ta-fu-ngi ti-mo la-mu-lo mi-sti-ngo ki-chit-to mu-mu ra-nu-mo lin-kt-ko to-pi-rt-ka. hit mul in-ktip pul-ngo ma-hiin-vo luk sung mi-rur rtit-pook in-ktin-ngo tuk huk-a ki-chtt stik-to-re rung-ho-ti.

eu, and the longer form ei, are only approximated by the u of huge, pure, and the ew of pew; 6. g., td-hu-veu-en, Or-heu-heu, ka-heuk;

and et-a, rei-tu, hetiv.

eu-eu hu-veu-eu heu-heu-re tO-eu-eu-nyo-re. eun li-keun _ cheuk-eul cheuk-yeung feus ha-eul reul-nyi in-cheuk-eu veut reus-ho teung-ten ki-seut-ngen heuh meut-lo eun-ngen to-ta-reu-euv meuk ka-heuk teut-ha-ka a-heuk-hu-vo. etl-a reti-la peti-lo-re ta-let-si ta-seu a-meti-ko peii-nyo-re pa-leti-ma hu-vett peu-heu tO-peti-yu ka-heti-ko ; reu-tu peu-ngu a-neu-mu mi-ngeti-ko ket-to seti-lo keu-heit-to va-neii-to-re ha-keu seti-nyO ha-neti-vO ma-mei-ku. reiit to-ka-netit t6-kin-heiin-ten heiiv ma-mettk-ko cheuk-yetin-ngo ka-eut chetk-ti, to-keu-hett-to-re





eui, and its lengthened form edi, are extremely difficult sounds for most English people, but are fairly common in Car N icobarese. Per- haps the Somerset pronunciation of I is the nearest approximation in English sounds to this vowel.

meui ha-neui to-ta-heu1 ka-eui-lo ma-neui ta-neui t6-ta-meul ka-eui-ti ha-meui heui-ngo ma-neui-ti heui-ta. meuich peuiny tal-keuich Jeuich pa-meuiny to-ki-teuiny teuich meuiny-lo ta-leuich-koiny. keiti-yo ha-teii-nyo ki-cheii-cho neili-yO pi-netii-nyo teili-nyo tetii-cho ta-meiti-yo ta-netii-yong leiti-chi mi-leiti-cho ta-netii-so-mat peili-nyo ti-lettii-cho ka-eill-yO-ro. teitich ki-chettich kin-eiin-yen.

at, is the more or less perfect coalescing of the sounds a and 1; and di is the same sound lengthened out; it nearly equals y in my; e. g. mat, mui- ka-hat, la-rainy; and rai, vai-chi, yaich.

mai t6-vai ta-hai-yo tai-yO-ho

tai Ta-vai mi-ka-hai sai-yo-ku ka-ai ra-ai-yO pa-ta-ai ai-yi-0

aich la-rainy ka-naich vaich-ngo kaich ra-ainy, sa-vaich ti-kaich-hang ngaich va-ainy to-tainy ka-hainy-nang. rai 4 tai-yo ta-kai-cho ma-a-fai a-nai vai-yo ki-rai-chi pi-yai-ngo u-mai vai-chi ngai-cho pa-rai-nya ai-yO rai-ngo u-lai-k6 mu-u-lai-yo ta-tai rai-cho ha-yai-chi a-ngai-ya. sainy yaich to-rainy-ngo ha-lainy-tu raich laich lainy-ngen pa-tainy.

ὅι and δὲ are rare; but seem in chéi, yer.

δ, and its longer form δὲ, are not very common; but are seen in chei. ha- , . gn 00 , ᾿ γοι- "δ. in-rei-hu ve-ci-kiid; and va-héi. ché1-yo,


(N.B. That is, δὲ and ei are not common apart from the corruption of e

and before ch, k, (k), m, ny, ng.—I formerly used to write ka- héim, ngéich-k6 pa-héik, &c. )

ed; here the vowels only partially coalesce, and seem almost to belong to separate syllables,

sa-neo-ku ka-leo-k6 pi-teo-ngu. veok sa-neok ka-peong chin-teong ka-leok peok-ngo pi-teong ka-neong.

10; here also the vowels imperfectly coalesce; but it must be distingui- shed from 1-0; 6. g., γιὸ (also yi-0),; sion (but si-o), ki-riom.

y10 ku-vio ku-vio ta-fi0-si ha-lio-ngo chio ta-i0 ta-nio-yo Sa-pi0-vu cha-hio-ri. siop i-yiom ha-niong ka-huk-sion sa-plOv ki-riom ha-ngiong ha-yiol-kuo.,

oi, and the longer form 67; here too the coalescing is imperfect; e. g., ha- cho (k)-oiny, ha-lo-oi-kii6, ha-ch6 (k)-oi-ren, hi-you, poi-td, choich, ὑκσίην, ki6n-yotch, rz.

di, (like oy in boy,) and its longer form 61, coalesce, somewhat less im- perfectly ; i-sd (k)-diny.

poi koi sa-noi 01-lo-re

hoi yoi li-cho1 ta-ko1-yo. toich ta-Oiny mu-u-noich foich-to-re : poich oiny-chi mi-nyoiny min-hoin-yo hoin mi-hdin Ha-nyoich ku-loich-roon.

δὲ, and its longer form 001; here too the vowels coalesce tolerably; e. g., moi, toi, pOi-cho, Oi-y1-0; and kddi-lo, pooiny, ma-noo!1-yo.

oich ki-toiny ta-leuich-koiny toich ku-voiny rong-hoich-ro koiny , fa-noiny-lo mOiny-tit-ren.

There is also a modified pronunciation of the diphthong δὲ (and 001), as there is of the simple vowel 6 (or 60); seen in vol, ki-loi, ta-choi.

koiny soich-lo hoich-ngen

koich ha-oiny ha-loiny-ka-ren.


nooi-nyO τ -mi-l601-cho ha-looi-nyo s06i-ch6 ki-rooi-chi ha-rooi-ngo ta-kooi-cho ki-tooi-nyo ka-nooi-nyo-re.

ui, and its lengthened form ii; e.g., kui-yai-yd, uich, lu-huiny; tach,

ul kui kui-yai-yo va-ni-il-kul. pa-rul tili-ngo ha-tii-ren to-ta-hiii-sa. kitich ka-mtich iich-ngo-re tiiny-long.

ud, and its lengthened form #6; (to be distinguished from the disyllabic {τὸ or i1-0, seen in chu-o, a-ngu-0); 6. g., pat-yud, sud-td-re; and kid (also kit-6), ha-yiio (and ha-yii-0), kin, kiion-nen.

τῦ-ν πὸ ta-nuo-no a-hiio-ngo ruo-l6-ngo riid-l6 ka-niio-mo ka-stiO-sa mi-liio-no pa-e-kiio ka-tiid-ya to-yio-ti ma-chtio-to-re ma-kiio pa-rtid-va fa-rii0-ti ri-ntio-nyo. kiiGn tiiok kiion-no mtot-ngen lfiop chiiok ka-mwtol a-fiiot-koiny kiiot chiiol kuol-to nga-miuong hiot ka-niiot riiong-ta in-riiong-ko.

m1 closely approximates ai in sound; e.g., in-riidi, (also in-riti, a different word) ; vidi, siidich-ken.

viii li-naidi ta-vuoi in-riaoi 100] cha-riioi ha-tiidi ti-liioi-nyo. stioich-ké liodich-len ti-lioiny.

The remaining combinations δα, éai, ἔα, ia, 101, da, dai, wa, ud, are of very restricted use; indeed they seem to be used only in contractions, or in words of foreign origin.

ed, 6. σ., yean (—=yé nan).

eat, 6. σ., yoai (ye ai).

ἔα, 6. g., pan-téa-ka, (also pan-te-ka, “ἃ melon”, a word of foreign origin ).

ἴα; δ. g., i-yian (=i-yih an).

101; e.g. yidi and i-yidi, (=[1]-yth δ).


"6. 5., poan (=po nan) ; nga- moang (==nga-mo-ang ). at, 6. g., poait (—=po ai) ; yoai (=yoh ai).